aka Discount Moving and Storage aka Moving and Storage USA aka’s ad infinitum ad nauseum
At the end of October 2004, I was in process of moving to Eugene OR. My son was moving from Phoenix to live with me and his infant son who was seriously ill. While I was looking for a home and caring for the baby, my son, who is 20, arranged for the mover. He did so over the internet and found A Miracle Van Line would move his belongings from Phoenix, make a stop for my things at my storage unit in Redding, CA, and bring them up to Eugene. This company asked him to fill out an inventory list over the internet, which he did to the best of his ability. They sent him an estimate of $2094 which included all the wonderful perks which their website promotes. This was based on $1794 for the basic move and $300 for the extra stop.
The movers arrived in Phoenix on 11/6 at 1:30 a.m. in a rented truck and drove away at 5 a.m. leaving my son totally exhausted and unable to leave that day as planned. They gave him a bill of lading and did an inventory of his belongings. They said that his load came to 500 cubic feet. They proceeded to Los Angeles, and apparently changed trucks and drivers. My son kept in contact and told me they would be at my storage unit the morning of the 11th and then come straight to Eugene. Only one mover in another truck marked Moving and Storage USA met my son in Redding, and the storage unit contents were loaded with much help from my son. The driver, Morisas, said he would give him a discount for helping to load. My son then asked if there would be a discount in Eugene if he got some of his friends over to help unload. The driver said he would think about it on the way. He did not give my son a bill of lading or do an inventory. Neither of the shipments had been weighed or were ever weighed. He only said that the contents looked like more cubic feet than had been estimated.
The lone driver arrived at my home at 8 p.m. and did not pull into the driveway. He said he would pull in after I paid him. The paperwork he showed me was shoddy with numbers crossed out and rewritten. I asked him about the lack of inventory and weight tickets. He said that is not the way they do business. As his English was very broken & I could not understand his figures, I told him we would wait for my son, who was 20 miles behind him on I-5, to arrive and work it out then. After more haggling & demands for “cash now!” which I refused saying wait 10 more minutes for my son as he is the one who contracted with you, the driver snatched up his paperwork and ran out of my house crying & said he would lose his job because of me. He drove away quickly, and I called the police who said that they would not interfere in a contractual dispute. My son arrived and we called the driver who said he was nearby but was afraid of me (a woman with multiple sclerosis and a sick infant somehow scared him to tears). We talked to the dispatcher who also did not speak English well, but he said he would try to figure out what happened, and the driver would stay in a motel (at least he got to sleep in a bed), with delivery to be made in the morning. I told him I still did not have a final dollar amount, and he said he would figure it out with the driver.
Morning came and no phone call; I called the dispatcher, name of “Moti,” who told me that he could not get in touch with the driver and did not know where the truck was. This was a Friday, and I called the office and dispatcher all day with no good response as to time of delivery or where our things were located, although the dispatcher kept telling me I would get them in an hour.
We spent the weekend sleeping on the floor -- the baby had the porta crib and we had our clothing but little else. Sleeping on the floor and getting this much stress is not good for MS, and so I was in a great deal of pain, and still had a very sick baby to take care of.
But nothing could be done over the weekend; my son talked to the driver who told him the dispatcher had said on the 11th to leave the area with our stuff and go on to his other jobs.
On Monday, I called FCMSA, reported the incident to DOT, no one could help at that time. So I called the FBI & reported interstate property theft. The agent said they couldn’t do much but apparently took some pity and called the company re the situation. Late that afternoon, I received a call from Carrie who told me they happened to have a truck in Oregon the next day but that I had to wire them the whole cash amount because I had tried to scam their company by understating the amount of goods we had, and that my son had tried to bribe their driver (this was when he asked for a discount to help unload). Carrie called me a liar and said we were very dishonest people when they had bent over backwards to help us, and I have all this on tape, her calls and those with Moti lying about the delivery. I refused to send the entire amount without any proof that we would get our shipment. We finally settled on me wiring 60% of the amount due which had somehow almost doubled from the original estimate. But 60% of their figure was 110% of the estimate, which I learned during a crash course in transportation law over the weekend, was what they were required to accept to make delivery and bill for whatever else later. I still felt weird sending thousands of dollars into the air and not knowing if or when my possessions would arrive or in what condition. She sent me an email delineating our “agreement” and an invoice. The emails were sent from A Professional Move, not A Miracle Van Line (A Miracle You Ever Get Your Stuff Van Line), and they share a phone number and they share staff, so that company is in on this travesty as well as several others.
In our email agreement, Carrie stated that my delivery would be here between 2-5 p.m. Worried sick all day, they did not arrive, more phone calls, finally the driver called & said he was in Oregon, had driven all the way from L.A., and would be here by 6 or so. Turns out our belongings had been stored in Brookings under the company name Moving and Storage USA. The warehouse was 200 miles away, not local as Moti had stated. The driver said they needed another $3000 cash when they got here; I told my son to say okay, just wanted to get them here, and they arrived about 9 p.m in a rented Enterprise truck. The driver (two new guys, Moshe & Oded, this time) came in and started demanding more cash & I told him I had already paid, and he should call his supervisor, which he did, and said okay but there is still too much stuff so you owe $1500 more and proceeded to show me the original bill of lading from Phoenix. Someone else had written in additional cubic feet and costs in different handwriting and ink, and the Redding bill of lading was never produced nor was an inventory or any weight receipts. I told my son to just start unloading as they had pulled into the driveway this time. I told the driver he was not getting another dime, and so he ran out of house and started wrestling a lamp out of my son’s hands (our own lamp!) and so I called 911 and they came when I told them the moving guy was attacking my son. The police looked at the shoddy paperwork, looked at my bank wire receipt and the 110% law, and told the movers to start unloading, that I had paid enough and they needed to bill me if they wanted more. So everything got unloaded by 1 a.m., and there were gouges in my furniture, crushed boxes, some breakage, and several missing items, but at least it was mostly there.
Here are the people to watch out for: Carrie Ateass (yes that is her name) as she is associated with A Miracle Van Line and is principal contact for A Professional Move, Moti the dispatcher who said he is the owner of the company, Vered Mizrachi, who is the principal contact for A Miracle and so he is probably also Moti and sometimes calls himself Matt or Monty. They all operate out of the L.A. valley, mostly Tarzana, and also list Richardson TX and Jersey City NJ on their contract. The same phone # 866-819-2608 for both companies.
This could have been a simple matter if the 1st driver had not run off minutes before my son arrived. I had the cash, but he could not give me a dollar figure that I could understand. I don’t know cubic feet from a hundred yard dash, and perhaps there were more cubic feet, but they can’t base their numbers on an eyeball estimate. It is a terrible blow to watch everything you own driven away in the dark and then to go through all the stress of trying to get it back from lying scoundrels. MS is exacerbated by stress (and sleeping on the floor) and I am not better yet and in a great deal of pain. I have never ever been treated so harshly. These people are despicable and do not care about anything but cash and more cash, however dishonestly obtained. I guess it is why they came to this country.
“From each according to his gullibility - - to each according to his cunning.”
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